Hawaii category hero image - lava in big island

Hawaii

Discover the best of Hawaii with travel guides to Hawaii’s top 5 islands, plus guides to the hikes, beaches, and scenic drives that you don’t want to miss!

1

When to go?

Hawaii is a year-round destination and sees on average about nine million visitors annually. Being in the tropics, Hawaii has a “wet season” (November-March) and a “dry season” (June-September) but do take these lightly as it doesn’t rain all the time in the wet season and the sun is constantly shining during the drier months. Every Hawaiian island also has its microclimates which greatly affect local weather patterns. Further reading: How to Plan a Trip to Hawaii Like a Pro.

2

Which island to visit?

Each Hawaiian island has its distinct vibe and pros and cons. Head to Molokai for authenticity, laid-back vibe, off-the-grid feel, and hiking. Hop to the Big Island for hiking, long road trips, snorkeling, the active volcano, and family-friendly options. Head to Maui for its plentiful beach and resort options, scenic drives, diverse geology, and snorkeling. Skip over to Kauai for its majestic tropical scenery, hiking, scenic drives, off-the-radar beaches, and family-friendly resorts. On Oahu, enjoy its beaches, shopping scene, road trips, superb hiking, and history. Further reading: The Best Islands in Hawaii.

3

How much time should you spend?

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii for the resort experience and with little reason to hop to other islands, there is really no rule of thumb. You could visit for a long weekend or even spend a whole week just on one island. If planning a proper island-hopping trip in Hawaii, my rule of thumb is that for every week in Hawaii, you can explore a maximum of two islands. Three nights on an island is really the minimum. Further reading: 7-Day Sample Itinerary, Two-Week Sample Itinerary.

4

How to island hop in Hawaii?

Unless you charter a yacht or plane, commercial inter-island flights are the only practical means of getting from one island to another in Hawaii.

5

Must-see sights

Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Makapu‘u Point, north shore

Maui: Haleakala National Park, the road to Hana, Kahekili Highway scenic drive, Molokini Crater

Kauai: Waimea Canyon, Kalalau Trail, Na Pali coast, Hanalei Bay

Big Island: Kona coast beaches, Waipi’o Valley, Volcanoes National Park, sunset at Mauna Kea

Molokai: Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Halawa Valley, Molokai’s cloud forest

Further reading: Top Things to Do in Hawaii.

 

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